Understanding the health experiences of Taiwanese workers

Hsu, Tsui Hua (2007) Understanding the health experiences of Taiwanese workers. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis attempt to uncover the qualitative different ways that Taiwanese workers experienced health. Workers' health is important to a country's economic, cultural and social development. Both Taiwanese government and health professionals acknowledgement the importance of health. A considerable amount of literature has been released over the past two decades in Taiwan around related issues. Most published research has reported investigation into occupational disease diagnosis, disease prevention, safety behaviours and health-related intervention for behaviour change. None has addressed the health experiences of workers.

To address this gap in knowledge and literature, phenomenographic research has been completed to identify and describe the ways in which Taiwanese workers in an industrial complex experience health. In-depth interview was undertaken with eighteen participants. The interview was tape-recorded and then transcribed verbatim. Data was collected in Mandarin or Taiwanese and analysed in Chinese. This avoids the loss or change of original meaning during the translation process. Significant quotations were then translated to English by the principal researcher. Discussions between the researcher and supervisor, and between researcher and another native English speaker who is be able to read Chinese were continuous through the analysis process to ensure that the English translation is as close possible as to the original meaning.

The outcomes of the research have been the identification of five conceptions of health which together represent understanding of the experience and the meaning of health. The five distinct conceptions are: health is absence of disease; health is a holistic view of the body function; health is a reward of doing 'good' deeds; health as living a healthy lifestyle; and health as a consequence of stress management. All conceptions combined constitute an outcome space that represents the referential and structural relationship between conceptions.

The research outcomes contribute to an understanding of how a group of Taiwanese workers were aware of their health experience and have significant implications for health professionals in developing and conducting health intervention, for policy makers in planning occupational health policies, for describing health with a cultural context and for educators of health professionals. Furthermore, this research provides the basis for further research into specific aspects of health and its meaning in different work settings.

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ID Code: 16476
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Barnard, Alan, Chapman, Helen, & Kellett, Ursula
Keywords: Taiwanese worker, health experience, phenomenography
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Department: Faculty of Health
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Tsui Hua Hsu
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:04
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:48

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